Thanks to hit podcast “Serial,” millions of people took notice of podcasts as an emerging content medium.
The popular podcast gave audio content a chance to shine amid all the visual content dominating the Internet these days. However, it is wrong to say that “Serial” alone ushered in the golden age of podcasts. Even before the “This American Life” spinoff happened, thousands of podcasts were already available for download on iTunes.
While many of these podcasts were created as a standalone entity independent from any company, there are also plenty of podcasts commissioned as a way of promoting certain businesses. These entrepreneurs knew the value that podcasts could bring into their startups, which was why they chose to connect to their audience and consumers through this rising medium. After all, creating a podcast is a cost-effective way to engage an audience, given the low startup costs involved.
Entrepreneurs could create their own podcast using their computer’s built-in microphone, as long as it is working in prime condition. If they want to have higher sound quality, a standalone microphone doesn’t cost much, often falling between the $50 t $200 range. There are also many podcast production software available on the Internet for free, with professional packages costing only around $30. Businessmen can provide their own voice to their podcasts, get an employee to do it, or hire a voice artist for a couple hundred dollars over the Internet.
Since such podcasts target a specific audience, there is no need to pay for costs associated with a full-fledged broadcast. As a standalone podcast with no fixed audience, “Serial” had to reach as many listeners as possible, so they paid for high distribution costs in order to get their content to as many platforms as possible. For podcasts aimed only towards a specific audience, entrepreneurs could host podcasts inside their own website to avoid podcast hosting sites.
Aside from being cost-effective, podcasts also help build audience engagement as entrepreneurs become more intimate with their audiences. They get to talk directly to their audience in their own voice, thus connecting with them in a deeper and more personal level. The more engaged and audience is, the more likely it is for them to buy and support the entrepreneur’s products and services.
There are also many possibilities when it comes to podcasting, as podcasts are used not just in communicating with audiences but also in conveying valuable information to them. They can use podcasts to review various products and services in order to guide their audience in their purchasing decisions. Some entrepreneurs invite and interview experts in their field as their guest for a particular episode. There are even ones who interview consumers themselves in order to have their voice heard. Podcasting is an excellent avenue for putting forth the views of people that the audience is more likely to trust, such as experts and peers.
Distribution of podcasts is not a problem because as mentioned above, entrepreneurs can simply embed them in their own websites. But for those who want to host them outside, product hosting sites only cost around $5 per month. SoundCloud, iTunes, and Audioboom are all examples of podcast distribution channels.
If you check out the Audioboom app, you will see how Audioboom Group PLC caters to huge content partners, such as BBC, The Guardian, and Sky Sports. Like many small entrepreneurs, these companies also use podcasts as a way to reach out to their audiences.
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